My understanding is that hormones generated by the thyroid gland, including, for example, T4, are excreted and recirculated in the body through the digestive tract. The reason for thinking this is that bile acid sequestrants such as cholestyramine cause a lowering of serum T4. In fact, patients who have hypothyroidism are explicitly warned not to use sequestrants for this exact reason. Here is a statement from a clinical trial discussing the effect:
The enterohepatic circulation of thyroid hormones is increased in thyrotoxicosis.Bile-salt sequestrants (ionic exchange resins) bind thyroid hormones in the intestine and thereby increase their fecal excretion. Based on these observations, the use of cholestyramine has been tried. The present study evaluates the effect of low doses of cholestyramine as an adjunctive therapy in the management of hyperthyroidism. -- clinical trial NCT00677469
Therefore, there would appear to be a metabolic pathway in which T4 is being excreted into the digestive tract and then is later re-absorbed in the lower intestine somehow.
What is this metabolic pathway? How exactly does this mechanism work? Does it have a name?
For more information on thyroid hormone sequestration see: